Theresa May dances in to fresh Brexit row
PUBLISHED: 13:09 28 August 2018 | UPDATED: 14:01 28 August 2018
The prime minister has rubbished her own chancellor’s no-deal Brexit economic forecast as a “work in progress”.
During a visit to South Africa, Theresa May repeated claims that no agreement with the EU “would not be a walk in the park” but rather hopefully added it “wouldn’t be the end of the world”.
She added the government is putting in place measures to ensure it can “make a success of no deal” and remains confident it can do similar with a “good deal” – which she maintained it was possible to agree.
May added that Philip Hammond was highlighting “work in progress” figures released in January when he published a letter just hours after the government started revealing its no-deal Brexit preparations.
The chancellor was accused by Brexiteers Tory backbenchers of launching another “project fear” by claiming GDP could fall and borrowing could be around £80 billion a year higher by 2033/34 if Britain resorted to WTO terms.
Hammond said such an impact on GDP would have “large fiscal consequences”.
He also said this analysis was undergoing a “process of refinement” ahead of a parliamentary vote on any deal.
May, asked about the timing and content of Hammond’s intervention, said she had previously labelled the data as a work in progress.
The PM, who is in South Africa on a trade visit, later performed a toe-curling dance with children on a visit to a secondary school.